Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C.

Man may spend next 20 years in prison for threats made against IRS agent

Ohio residents who have dealt with the Internal Revenue Service, likely experienced some level of frustration. IRS tax matters are often complex and confusing and, due to understaffing and general bureaucracy, dealing with the agency can be time consuming and frustrating. In cases where an individual is contacted and notified he or she is the subject of an IRS audit, one’s level of frustration may rise to a whole new level.

Individuals who are facing an IRS audit are always advised to be cooperative and courteous when communicating with an IRS agent. Failing to cooperate in an IRS audit may result in an individual facing even more scrutiny which could lead to additional fines, penalties and even criminal tax charges. In the case of one man, who was recently facing an IRS audit, he not only incurred hefty fines and penalties, but also a serious criminal conviction related to threatening an IRS agent.

The man was in the midst of an IRS audit which resulted in the discovery that he owed back taxes in excess of $300,000. While investigating the case, the IRS agent requested that the man and his ex-wife consent to an extension. Requests for an extension of time to investigate a case are common in IRS audits and allow an auditor to "keep the statute of limitations" open.

While the man signed the consent form, his ex-wife did not. Upon receiving a voice message from the IRS agent regarding the uncompleted consent form, the man became enraged. He called the IRS auditor back and left two voice messages in which he threatened to hurt, torture and kill the agent and the agent's family members.

The IRS agent reported the man's violent threats and, in addition to a $300,000 IRS bill, a judge recently found the man guilty of "threatening assault and murder." He is currently awaiting sentencing and could spend the next 20 years in prison.

Anyone going through an IRS audit likely feels scared and angry. The audit process may be drawn out and overly intrusive. However it's important to comply with IRS requests and remain cooperative and cordial despite additional requests or expected negative outcomes.

Source: Forbes, "Man Convicted Over Threat To Kill IRS Agent---You Thought Your Audit Was Bad," Robert W. Wood, May 27, 2014

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